My girlfriend of a few years was married to a man who emotionally abused her and threatened her with physical violence. She’s deeply scarred by his behaviour.
She’s sought both talk therapy and medication, with some success. However, in her current state, she rejects both outright.
We go through cycles. Things go well and we start getting close, but then she panics, and has terrible anxiety.
She starts to lash out, and can be quite mean. I’ve always understood that, as part of the anxiety, and I give her a lot of leeway.
I try to not make things worse nor punish nor make fun of her.
When she’s lashing out, she feels guilt, convinced that she’s become an abuser.
She says I need to leave her because I’ll suffer like she did. She says I’m stupid for staying with her like she stayed with her ex-husband.
She’s upset with me and her close friends because we won’t agree that she’s an abuser.
Her ex once predicted that she’ll never be happy in any relationship.
Talk therapy had the best results for her but she cannot afford it anymore as her ex is inconsistent with child support.
I love her. The good times are great, but it’s killing me to see her suffer like this.
I don’t feel it’s time for me to leave, yet my staying is hurting her.
Can’t Give Up
She needs a process of therapy, and urging it is likely the best support you can give her for now, even if you have to take a break from being together.
Currently, her focus is on denial, self-loathing, and distancing. No relationship can thrive under that negative cloud.
There’s a danger that if you stay you’ll become co-dependents in this unhealthy pattern of her pushing and your pulling.
Research all the ways you can find a therapy plan that’s affordable – e.g. if you live in Ontario, psychiatry is covered under the provincial health plan.
There are also community agencies and faith-based services that provide counselling. Help her financially if you can.
Stress her responsibility as a mother as the urgent reason why she needs to get help. Her ex-husband’s abuse is still happening… and she needs to fight it.
For over 18 months I've been in love with my co-worker. We became best friends and spent a lot of time together.
I used to hopelessly listen to him talk about the woman he was then with (one of my best friends, yikes!).
After they broke up, I revealed my feelings, and we had a two-week summer fling.
Then we decided we were over. But I wasn't ready to give him up. I’m still madly in love with him.
These days we're still friends, hanging out often (in big groups), but he NEVER makes any effort to text or talk to me otherwise - something he does with people he cares about.
However, he’s extremely flirtatious when we’re together. I want to know how he feels, but telling him how I do could really mess things up.
What To Do?
He knows how you feel. Someone “madly in love” shows it by always being available whenever your group gets together. And you undoubtedly flirt back.
You already know how he feels. If he wanted to get back to a relationship, he’d text you, he’d say so.
The fling ended for a reason. If there’s no one else, he’s just not wanting more than your friendship.
I’m a widow, 65. Last spring, my late husband’s oldest son, 52, contacted me. He was never in our lives because his mother gave him to a family member to raise.
He wanted medical information about his birth father. We became friends and get along very well together.
When he visits me (about twice monthly), my youngest daughter, 34, bugs me with unnecessary texts. I think she’s jealous of my time with him, though it doesn’t interfere with my time with her or her kids.
Now he’s getting anonymous texts saying he’s interfering in our family, which he hasn’t.
This kind of ugly behaviour often emerges when there’s jealousy AND/OR concerns about inheritance being affected.
Tell her you’re of sound mind, appreciate his company, and do NOT appreciate her mean-spirited reaction.
Reassure her that you still love all your own children, but that won’t stop an investigation if he keeps getting anonymous texts.
Tip of the day:
Sometimes it’s better to take a supportive break while a loved one gets help to fight personal demons.